Recreational Therapy is a clinical service provided by a licensed, certified, therapeutic recreation specialist (CTRS) intended to promote a client’s ability to participate in leisure-based activities to maximize one’s physical and cognitive capability. Recreational Therapy can help clients return to hunting, fishing, water skiing, downhill skiing, kayaking, etc. The CTRS can assist clients with problem solving/way-finding the local public transportation, a shopping center, and/or local restaurants. A CTRS takes the skills that clients have been working on with PT, OT, and SLP and applies them to other leisure based activities!
Given the physical and psychological benefits, clients who have Recreational Therapy integrated into his or her functional treatment programs have been found to have improved outcomes with other therapies. Recreational Therapy can improve:
Where's the proof?
Many studies have been done describing the benefits of Recreational Therapy. In a study conducted by Williams, Barrett, Vercoe, Maahs-Flaudung, Loy, et al. in 2007 entitled, “Effects of Recreational Therapy on Functional Independence From People Recovering from Stroke,” researchers found incorporating consistent CTRS interventions proved to improve Functional Independence as evidenced by PT, OT, SLP measures on the Functional Independence Measure. Certainly, despite not being conducted on other populations, this research is consistent with the myriad of studies completed describing the impact that a CTRS has on clients and families.